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Oil protesters cause partial shutdown of Houston Ship Channel in Texas

Christian Fernsby |
The U.S. Coast Guard on Thursday closed part of the Houston Ship Channel to vessel traffic near Baytown, Texas, after 11 Greenpeace USA protesters suspended themselves by cables over the key oil export waterway.


The closure of one portion of the channel, which stretches 53 miles (85 km) from its entrance in the Gulf of Mexico to the Port of Houston, blocked tanker ship traffic to and from five major oil refineries as well as chemical and oil-export terminals.

In Twitter messages posted by Greenpeace USA, protesters can be seen dangling on harnesses from the bridge over the waterway, with large yellow banners flapping in the wind.

“We’re in the heart of the fossil fuel industry (the largest oil export channel in the U.S.) to confront Trump and the oil industry,” one tweet said. “It is time to end the age of oil,” said another.

Just one ship was waiting to enter the busiest U.S. petrochemical port, and two ships were waiting to exit the waterway, the Coast Guard said.

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